This afternoon the Georgia Senate caved into the blitz put on by Senator Chip Rogers to craft a “compromise” anti-immigration bill in the Georgia Legislature with Rep. Matt Ramsey, passing HB 87 compromise language by a slim 3 votes in a lengthy process on the legislature’s final day in session this spring. The HB 87 compromise language will be quickly agreed to by the House (where key leaders had already been consulted on the compromise language).
HB 87 now goes to Governor Deal for signature. Should Governor Deal sign HB 87, it will be the worst piece of immigration legislation in the United States, in some respects worse than Arizona’s SB 1070. The good news is that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently found four key provisions of SB 1070 unconstitutional, and those provisions have corresponding sections in HB 87. HB 87 also has several other provisions which themselves separately violate the Constitution, and which will be struck down by the federal courts.
It is simply too bad that the desire to pass “something” to send a message on illegal immigration to someone (it is unclear who the legislature thinks will get this message) overcame common sense and a clear understanding of the harm HB 87 will do to Georgia’s reputation, industry, agriculture and spirit. Literally, the Legislature had gone “all in” on this game of bluff poker. Now it is time to show the cards on how HB 87, an Arizona law on steriods, will damage the state before it even has time to become effective.